FAIRFIELD, Conn. – April 19, 2013 – GE [NYSE: GE] announced today first-quarter 2013 operating earnings of $4.1 billion, or $0.39 per share, up 14% and 15% respectively from the first quarter of 2012. GAAP earnings from continuing operations were $3.6 billion, or $0.35 per share, up 13% and 17% respectively. Gains from the sale of GE’s remaining stake in NBCUniversal were $0.04 per share above the cost of Industrial restructuring and other charges. Revenues were $35.0 billion for the quarter, flat with the year-ago period.
“Our equipment orders were strong in the quarter, growing 10%, with Oil & Gas orders up 24%, and Aviation up 47%,” said GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt. “In growth markets, equipment and service orders grew 17%. We ended the quarter with our biggest backlog in history.”
Total infrastructure orders for the quarter rose 3% to $23.8 billion, and were up 6% excluding the effects of Wind and FX. Infrastructure order pricing rose 0.6% for the quarter. The ratio of equipment orders received to sales billed (book-to-bill) was 1.3.
Immelt continued, “GE’s markets were mixed. The U.S. and growth markets were in line with expectations. We planned for a continued challenging environment in Europe, but conditions weakened further with Industrial segment revenues in the region down 17%. Overall, Power & Water markets were worse than we expected. While we anticipated significantly fewer wind and gas turbine shipments, we saw additional pressure in European Power & Water services. This weakness also had a negative impact on margins. We always anticipated that the first half of 2013 would be our toughest comparison; we expect Power & Water to improve during the year and be positive in the second half.”
The remainder of the Industrial segments grew profits 6%, with 40 basis points of margin growth. GE saw solid growth in Aviation, Transportation and Home & Business Solutions, and excluding the impact of FX, growth in Oil & Gas. GE continues to implement its cost-out plan. The Company expects to reduce industrial structural costs by at least $1 billion in 2013, and is off to a good start with a $200 million reduction in the first quarter. With improving profits in Power & Water, and solid performance in our other segments, GE continues to plan margin growth of 70 basis points for the year.
GE’s backlog of equipment and services at the end of the quarter was its highest ever, at $216 billion. During the quarter, GE announced a $620 million services contract for QGC’s Queensland Curtis LNG plant off the east coast of Australia, $500 million of contracts to provide power equipment and long-term service for the Emirates Aluminum smelter complex in Abu Dhabi, and a $333 million service contract extension for Russia’s Sakhalin-2, one of the world’s largest integrated oil and gas projects.
GE Capital continued its strategy to reduce the overall size of its portfolio while focusing on core growth. GE Capital earnings grew 9% in the quarter and ENI (excluding cash and equivalents) was $402 billion at quarter end. General Electric Capital Corporation’s (GECC) Tier 1 common ratio under Basel 1 rose 65 basis points to 11.1%, and net interest margin was strong at 5%. During the quarter, GE Capital finalized the acquisition of MetLife’s $6.4 billion deposit base and online deposits business.
In the quarter, cash from operating activities was lower due to inventory build for second-half volume, as well as tax and long-term incentive plan payouts. GE ended the quarter with $90 billion of consolidated cash and cash equivalents. During the quarter GE sold its remaining 49% stake in the NBCUniversal joint venture, and related assets, to Comcast for $18.1 billion. The transaction added significant capital to GE’s capital allocation plan, which includes returning approximately $18 billion to shareholders in 2013 through dividends and buybacks. The sale also allowed GE to accelerate restructuring plans and provided more momentum toward its margin goals. In addition, today GECC paid the first-quarter income dividend to GE in the amount of $447 million.
GE continued to execute on its balanced capital allocation plan. The Company’s strong cash position enabled the repurchase of $1.9 billion of stock during the first quarter. Combined with its dividend, GE returned $3.9 billion to investors during the quarter.
Immelt concluded, “Despite the challenging macro environment, GE is well-positioned for stronger performance for the remainder of the year and we are executing on our strategic priorities. We are using our complete and early exit from media to increase investment in our core industrial businesses, through accelerated restructuring, investment in technology, and investment in our global capabilities. We expect our cost-out efforts will mitigate weakness in specific markets, and we have a very strong cash position. Our overall framework for the year remains unchanged.”
First-quarter operating earnings were $4.1 billion, up 14% from first-quarter 2012 and operating EPS was $0.39, up 15%. GAAP earnings from continuing operations (attributable to GE) were $3.6 billion, up 13%, or $0.35 per share, up 17% from the first quarter of 2012. A positive one-time gain in the Industrial operations of $0.08 per share from the sale of GE’s remaining stake in the NBCUniversal joint venture was partially offset by $0.04 per share of restructuring and other charges. GE Capital results include a $0.05 per share benefit from the NBCU sale; GE Capital incurred charges for restructuring and other significant charges of $0.05 per share.
Including the effects of discontinued operations, first-quarter net earnings attributable to GE were $3.5 billion ($0.34 per share) in 2013 compared with $3.0 billion ($0.29 per share) in the first quarter of 2012. This is an increase in net earnings of 16% and net EPS of 17%.
First-quarter revenues were flat at $35.0 billion. Industrial sales of $22.3 billion fell 6% versus the first quarter of 2012. GECC revenues of $11.5 billion rose 2% from last year.
Cash generated from GE operating activities in the first quarter of 2013 totaled $0.2 billion, compared to $2.1 billion last year.
The accompanying tables include information integral to assessing the Company’s financial position, operating performance and cash flow.
GE will discuss preliminary first-quarter results on a Webcast at 8:30 a.m. ET today, available at www.ge.com/investor. Related charts will be posted there prior to the call.
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